For day two of my 12 days of blogmas I wanted to make some bookish star place holders that were inspired by these lovely thanksgiving pumpkins. A larger star would make a good photo holder.
What I really like about these is that you could make tiny versions to hang from the tree. They’d be good to make with older children as a STEAM craft activity as they’d have to work out the best way to rotate the shapes and how to coordinate the cut lines to create a 3D shape. Thicker card is best for this to ensure that the final star decoration keeps its shape and stands up independently.
Younger children will probably need a lot of help with this and an adult to do the cutting. When I made them, Phoebe decorated her own 2D shapes that I’d cut out ahead of time while I sat with her and made my 3D stars.
To make a 3D star place holder or ornament you will need:
- A star template if you don’t want to draw free hand (I used a biscuit cutter)
- Gold card
- Decorative paper (book pages in this instance)
- Scissors and/or craft knife
- Glue stick
- A needle
- Fine wire to mount a piece of card or string to hang
How to make a 3D star:
- Trace matching star shapes onto the wrong side of your gold card and cut out.
- Smear the wrong side of the card shape with glue and stick on your decorative paper so that the gold side of the card is facing up. Allow to dry.
- Cut around the stars on the decorative paper so you have a star that is gold on one side with decorative paper on the other.
- Take two stars and sing a scissors or craft knife, carefully cut a line half way through the star- one from the top to the centre of a star, and on the other star from the bottom to the middle.
- Slot the two stars together through these cuts so they stand up by themselves.
- Using the needle, carefully poke holes through the top of the star, then thread with wire or string.
- To make a place holder, curl the wire in a spiral and then flatten as in my picture so that the name for the placeholder can be slotted in between the wire.
As part of the twelve days of blogmas I wanted to make some book themed Christmas ornaments, and I’m hoping to post one a day for the first twelve days of December.
I wanted to start with these simple paper bird decorations, which require no origami skills whatsoever but look really cute when the are finished. They’re a perfect craft for children as they really are a five-minute craft. I’ve given my paper bird decorations literary themed by covering them with pages from a damaged book, but you could easily use coloured card and bright embellishments to make them appealing for children.
To make a paper bird ornament you will need:
- A bird shaped template (I drew around biscuit cutters)
- Glue stick
- Two old book pages
- Gold pen
- Padded double-sided tape
- Decorative thread
- A yarn or embroidery needle
How to make a paper bird ornament:
- Trace the shape of your bird template onto a piece of card then cut this out
- Smear glue all over the one side of the cardboard and stick it to your book page. Allow this to dry then cut out the shape. Repeat this using the plain side of the card.
- Cut tear drop wing shapes out of the remaining paper.
- Edge the bird and wing shapes with the gold pen.
- Using the padded double-sided tape, stick the tear drop wing shape onto the side of the bird to give it a 3D effect.
- Make two small holes with the yarn needle and thread the bird for hanging on a tree, I found that two holes gives the bird better stability when hung on the tree.
Hello… is anybody… out there?
Would you like to know how I lost all my followers with one simple click? Or is that to clickbaity?
So, I transferred from self-hosting to hosting back with WordPress and lost all my followers. I mean, I don’t think they mass unfollowed me because they didn’t like my decision to move away from Hostgator (did you?) but the list has been lost to the ether and the kind people at WordPress can’t get you back. So if you followed me and would like to stay on board for this erratic tour of the rabbit hole feel free to sign back up.
If not, this is awkward… but I get it. No, I mean honestly, it’s no big deal, I’ll just… I’ll just be over here doing a thing…
Actually this is probably a good thing, because I’ve decided to see it as a sign that the time is right for a fresh start. I’m not reading in the same way I used to. Back in the early days of this blog, if I only read a book a week I saw it as a personal failing, now I’d take it as a sign that I am crushing life and getting my children to bed at a sensible time on a regular basis.
And speaking of blogging when you have children, or blogging about books when you have children. I read a lot of picture books these days and had been hesitant to post about them because that’s not what people followed my blog for. Well they’re not following me anymore! So I’m going to post a bit more about early literacy and the books I read with my daughters without feeling too bad about it.
I’ll be updating my About Me to reflect my new world order in due course (if the baby lets me, she pretty much runs the show these days) but feel free to check out my back catalogue if you’re curious as to why anyone did follow in the first place.
Following on from my post a few years ago about why I’m not reading, allow me to introduce the newest reason I’m not reading books, and not writing reviews of the ones I do get to read.
Erin joined us in April, and between being pretty tired juggling pregnancy, a toddler and work I haven’t had much energy to write blog reviews of some of the excellent books I’ve read. She’s definitely worth it though and her big sister is a superfan.
Cloud spotting with her big sister
I’m hoping to start reviewing some more grown-up books soon, but in the meantime feel free to ask me anything about picture books. I read about ten of those a day. I might even start reviewing them.
Before I had Phoebe, I always imagined that I’d be really into planning dress up and coming up with costume ideas for World Book Day. After all, books and fancy dress are two of my “things”. Then she arrived and, who knew toddlers could be so opinionated and their mothers so tired that making a World Book Day costume for a preschooler would become a hassle rather than pure fun?
This year, Phoebe wanted to dress up as Kwazii from the Octonauts, but she watches that as her sole TV privilege (then spends the rest of her time role-playing it with me generally cast in the role of a Colossal Squid or Sperm Whale, thanks daughter dearest) instead of reading the books and I was a bit fundamental about insisting that for World Book Day she dressed as a book character. I was willing to compromise at dressing as a Pirate because she does love The Night Pirates with the rough, tough little girl pirates who steal the grown up pirates’ treasure but in the end, she decided that she would like to dress as…..
The Witch from Room on The Broom. I think she was expecting the full cauldron, cat, dog, bird and frog works, but I didn’t have the stamina for that. It’s hard enough finding a broomstick in February! She had a nice time making an exact replica wand herself (with a little help), and already had the skirt and t shirt. The cloak and hat will come for Halloween and dress up play, and since the cloak is reversible, she can play Little Red Riding Hood in it as well.
I think she looks very proud of her work in the end. I’d imagine she’s cast a lot of spells at nursery today!
Only kidding. I knew it was World Book Day, just about. I remembered the day before it when the a sign on the nursery door reminded me that children were meant to come in dressed up as their favourite book character. This post is late because I’m too tired to blog any more.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried talking to a toddler about who their favourite book character is, but even a relatively verbose twenty month old can be quite evasive on the subject. Throw in the need to cobble together at short notice a costume that won’t be torn off in a fit of pique and you face a challenge.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Peter Rabbit… or at least, bunny ears and a blue jacket.
The costume is, admittedly, not great but I had to admire the spirit in which she wore it. She strutted into nursery and glared at anyone who dared to call her Phoebe. As soon as they called her Peter, she hopped quite happily around the room and settled down quite happily for a snack.
As for me, I’m joining the ranks of parents not quite sure why World Book Day seems to be about dressing up and not, say, reading a book.
Emma by Jane Austen for “younger readers”
Last night I was browsing on Not On The High Street for some non-chocolate Easter eggs for my nieces and nephew and came across something that made me giggle in a really geeky bookworm way. Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce classic literature adapted for babies, aka The Cosy Classics. They are described as a ” popular board book series that presents well-loved stories through twelve child friendly words and twelve needle felted illustrations.” I say- amazing.
My sister studied Emma as part of her AS Level in English Literature and hated it, so I feel that a Cosy Classic of this text would be an ideal gift for her daughter. Bedtime stories for baby geniuses, or their parents, the series includes such classics as Jane Eyre, Les Miserables, Moby Dick, Oliver Twist and Pride and Prejudice. I might even buy myself War and Peace as it’s the only way I’m ever likely to read it!
You might have guessed from my recent post about my Sass and Belle cushions that I’ve got a bit of a thing about foxes. I’ve been feeling a bit run down at the moment, I just seem to be so busy that when I have a moment to myself I just end up falling asleep so I decided to buy myself a treat to cheer myself up. Meet Mr Cordy Roy Fox by children’s toy maker Jellycat.
I wanted to get Cordy Roy for my newborn niece at Christmas, but as you can guess by looking at his cheeky little face, he’d sold out so I got her a Jellycat raccoon instead who my sister assures me is now her best friend. If you’re looking for toys for children that encourage imaginative play, Jellycat is a great place to look. Not only do they have a great range of animals which includes dragons and woolly mammoths, but they have dolls which map to fairy tales and would make great bedtime story companions.
After our visit to Cotswold Wildlife Park today (amazing, go if you can) we popped in to visit my boyfriend’s sister and I read Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Book by Lauren Child with my four and a half year old niece. It’s a great story for children, which sees a young boy called Herb fall into a story book that he has defaced and have encounters with fairy tale characters, including a very bratty Goldilocks. My favourite character was the queen he had drawn a moustache on some time ago.
It’s a beautiful book with a great plot, and while it’s not ideal for young readers who are just building up their confidence because of occasional backwards letters and upside down words, it’s a really fun book to read together. I hope it teaches children to look after their books properly!
I would recommend it to anyone who thought that Goldilocks was a naughty little girl and didn’t understand why she didn’t get into trouble when they were small.
I remember this quite clearly because even though I was very small, I was quite naughty and it got me into lots of trouble. The book in question was Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg and we had borrowed it from the library for me.
I doubt I could even read at the time, but the brilliant bit of the book was the amazing illustrations of characters from fairytale and nursery rhyme which meant you didn’t need Mam or Dad to read you the bedtime story, you could tell yourself it. After a fashion.
This was before my little sister was around so I must have been tiny (three or younger) and I didn’t want my book going back to the library. The others could go, but this was my favourite, so I hid it in the back of my toy cupboard and kept quiet when my parents took back the other books we’d borrowed (myself and my two older siblings) and would sneak it out when no one was looking.
I got in quite a bit of trouble when the library fines arrived. I might actually buy myself a copy of that now. For the memories.